Planning grid for week 4:
4 games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, LAL, MEM, MIN, NOR, NYK, OKC, PHI, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS
3 games: CHI, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MIA, MIL, ORL, PHX, SAS
Week 4 Back-to-Backs:
Sunday (November 6) through Monday: CHI, CLE, LAL, LAC, MEM, TOR, UTA, WAS
Wednesday-Thursday: ATL, CHA, DAL, NOR, POR
Friday-Saturday: BOS, DET, TOR
Saturday-Sunday: BKN, UTA, WHAT
No cable pickup:
*To qualify for this list, players must be available in approximately 60% of Yahoo leagues. All others are marked with a *. The players are listed in the order I would prioritize them. The percentage list is correct as of 11/03/2022.
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*Jalen McDaniels (48%) – Same as his brother Jaden McDaniels in Minnesota, Jalen, has become the “stock king” in Charlotte with 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per 36 minutes. Adding to that impressive defense, Jalen has been hotter from 3-point range, scoring on 14 of 28 attempts (50%) so far. Undrafted in virtually every Standard league, Jalen has been a top-75 player in 9 Cats in just 26 minutes per game, averaging 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.8 triples at 42% from the field and 91% from the line.
I always love it when it’s obvious how hard a player has worked on their game over the summer. For example, you can’t tell me that Jalen had this in his bag last season:
With the best players in Charlotte dropping like flies including a new shoulder injury Gordon Hayward, Jalen should be on all fantasy rosters going forward, regardless of format.
Chris Boucher (34%) – After missing the start of the season, Boucher has risen to must-roster status in the standard leagues. In just 19.5 minutes in five games, Boucher ranks in the top-75 in the 9-cat leagues with 11.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.8 triples.
He was all over the Spurs in Toronto’s last game, and Beat writer Josh Lewenberg said he played the best half of his career in that game.
Boucher has a fantastic resume to back that up as he is just a year away from a top 45 finish in 9 cats in 24 minutes per game. Add him immediately, although I still don’t fully trust coach Nick Nurse after his stunts last season.
*Lonnie Walker (43%) – Without Lonnie Walker, the Lakers would probably be 0-7. He has eight triples in his last two games and has 15+ points in five of six games since the season opener. The Lakers are still a mess right now because LeBron James’ foot is bothering him and Anthony Davis has Derrick Favors’ back so they have to continue to rely on Lonnie for his microwave rating.
Patrick Williams (27%) – Ah yes, the fantasy sleeper that everyone seemed to give up on two weeks ago. Well, he suddenly looks like hot commodity now as he strings together three impressive games in a row.
“I understand everyone wants to see that progress. But to be fair, he didn’t have a standard two-year NBA schedule like many others. It took some time,” said coach Billy Donovan. “And each player develops and develops at a different rate.”
Williams put up fantasy numbers in his last three games in the 8th round, averaging 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 1.7 blocks and 1.0 triples. The rim guard is the big draw here, and it’s something he really brought to life late last season. With Andre Drummond (shoulder) out and the Bulls with smaller lineups, time is now for Williams.
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Davion Mitchell (31%) – De’Aaron Fox has a bruised knee and doesn’t have a set schedule at the moment, but it’s not meant to be a long-term injury. I’ll be streaming Davion with confidence in the meantime as he put on a monster performance and dud against the Heat. In those two games, he averaged 16.0 points, 2.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 3.0 triples.
It’s worth noting that Mitchell hasn’t been at his best this season, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as he averaged 18.0 points, 7.4 assists and 1.9 triples in his rookie season as a starter.
Grant Williams (32%) – I’m not sure what else fantasy managers should see here. Grant is a 6th-rounder in 9-cat for the season with a clunker on the board (October 24). There’s a reason teams are already lining up to snatch him away from Boston after both sides failed to agree on an extension.
Aleksej Pokusevski (38%) – If you have the guts, Poku might be the guy for you. One night he’ll look like the best Larry Bird, with behind-the-back passes and nearly triple-doubles, and other nights he’ll be quickly substituted after forcing 33-footers four seconds into the shot clock. Add everyone in OKC who is not named to the service list Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can be a headache, but Poku has been solid lately with fantasy 7th-round numbers of 10.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals, and 2.0 blocks 1.3 triples at 46% of the field.
Bruce Brown (34%) – Brown, Denver’s Swiss Army Knife, is benefiting from another injury that saw Bones Hyland most recently go down. We already know he’s basically coach Michael Malone’s favorite player already, as it seems he’s literally everything he talks about.
He has played at least 28 minutes in four straight games, averaging 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.5 triples in the 6th round. Do I think he’s a long-term hold? Probably not, but I’d ride him until he gave me a reason not to.
Tari Eason (21%) – Assistant coach John Lucas compared him to Dennis Rodman while head coach Stephen Silas reflects Eric Gordon is a first-round Hall of Famer. Eason was held for four straight minutes in his teens, but he’s coming off a game with six points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and three blocks in just 18 minutes. Just look at this defense!
As I continue to say, his talent will ultimately win over Silas and I will hold on to him for as long as necessary.
Marcus Morris (41%) – He’s not the most reliable guy, having to rest his knees every now and then, but the Clippers have few options at the moment Kawhi Leonard is struggling to get well. Morris has done well in three straight games, averaging 14.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.3 triples. Enjoy it because it won’t last long.
Jaylen Nowell (19%) – You’re probably wondering why Nowell is here because he’s stone cold and has averaged 18 points in his last three games while shooting 24%. This is one guy who came out of the gates red hot and we know the shooting will go back to mean as he hit 47% of the field last season. Be patient when you have it, and when it’s dropped, be ready to add quickly.
Patty Mills (9%) vs. Edmond Sumner (0%) – Wed Kyrie Irving off the nets for at least five games, Mills is a super streamer and can potentially last longer depending on how this situation plays out. However, we can’t assume he’ll have the keys all by himself as Sumner has been really good for the Nets this season and isn’t someone I’d bet against.
As a starter last season, Mills averaged 13.1 points, 2.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 3.1 triples. As for Sumner, he brings a lot more to defense and is a top athlete, so he’s someone to watch closely in deeper formats.
Josh Richardson (28%) – Spurs already have players on the left and right Keldon Johnson is the latest to be sidelined with ‘Enge’. Thanks to Victor Wembanyama, we will see some very creative excuses throughout the season.
Devin Vassell is finally back for Friday’s game but Richardson should be able to at least play a decent role if Josh Primo falls out of the equation. To be clear, I don’t think he’s a must-play roster.
Dyson Daniels (2%) – I’ve raved about him on the podcast, as have my peers, as his mix of size, playmaking and elite defense is so much fun to watch. If he ever gets close to 25 minutes, and I think he will sometime this season, he could become a fantasy force.